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Historical Monuments at Kolomenskoye

Located to the southeast of Moscow, on the road to Kolomna, the former royal estate of Kolomenskoye overlooks the Moskva River and has a number of interesting historical buildings to view, including the World Heritage-listed Church of the Ascension. Kolomenskoye started out as a village sometime prior to 1339 where it was mentioned in the testament of Ivan I, Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of Vladimir. Its picturesque setting and close proximity to Moscow made the village a favored country destination for the grand princes of Muscovy, and a royal estate developed.

The Ascension Church, built in 1532, is the oldest structure in Kolomenskoye. The beautifully preserved white stone church, with its unusually shaped tower, was built in honor of the birth of an heir to the throne, Ivan IV Vasilyevich (1530-1584), who became known as Ivan the Terrible. Rising up from a cross-shaped ground floor, the church tower, or column, is a tapered octagonal-shape with a small dome at the top.

Other buildings in Kolomenskoye at the time were constructed of wood, and when Tsar Alexis I came into power in the mid-17th century, he had all the existing wooden structures demolished and commissioned the construction of an enormous wooden palace. The new palace was ornately decorated with curved leaf-shaped features, towers, domes and myriads of passageways linking the 250 rooms. Although it was only a summer palace, it was said to be the favorite residence of Tsar Alexis I. Peter the Great spent some of his youthful years at the palace, and Empress Elizabeth Petrovna was born there in 1709. However, Catherine the Great had the palace demolished and replaced with a stone and brick building.

In 2010, a full-scale replica of the Alexis I palace was carried out by Moscow's government, and today stands proudly near the Ascension Church. In addition to the palace and the church, Kolomenskoye boasts a number of historical wooden building and artifacts that were transported from all over the USSR during the early Soviet period. These include a Barbican church of the Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery, a tower from the 17th century Sumskoy Ostrog fortress; the 18th century Peter the Great house; and fragments of the Lion's Gates from the Moscow Kremlin.


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